Planning Your Path – UW Graduate School Skip to content

Planning Your Path

Many students find it helpful to create a long-term plan to help them reach their goals while in graduate school. One of the things you can do is to create an Individual Development Plan (IDP).

The IDP is a written guide to provide structure when working through your goals and to communicate to your professors, mentors, family and friends how they can best support you in reaching your academic, personal, and professional objectives.

Setting goals helps you align your intentions with the experiences you have in your training, and can start you in the right direction. The best goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable (actionable), relevant, and timely. They should also be aspirational and move beyond merely a “to-do” list, which can become burdensome. Where do you see yourself heading?  Who do you want to become? What experiences will help you get there?

The Graduate School has developed a worksheet to help you create your own IDP.

Download the IDP Worksheet